Thursday, 18 November, 2021

A COVID cluster with a difference; France’s all-audio automobile; Formula 1’s first Chinese driver; and Spiderman and Harry Styles crash the internet.



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Spiderman: No Way Home trailer:


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Health authorities in the Northern Territory were yesterday on alert as a COVID cluster with a difference started to take hold there.

The outbreak of cases is especially concerning because of their locations: in townships with a high population of First Nations people.

The NT town of Katherine, and the remote community of Robinson River had yesterday reported 19 cases between them. And while that may not sound like a lot: the housing conditions in Robinson River, where up to fifteen people share a single house, means there are fears it could spread quickly.

Complicating matters, according to an NT government minister,  is the fact there are more than 100 Aboriginal languages spoken in the territory – which has meant important government health messaging hasn’t gotten through, and misinformation about the virus and vaccine has been able to spread easily on social media.

Meanwhile: the country of Israel this week followed the United States by approving the COVID vaccine for kids aged 5-11. Australian authorities have not yet approved the vaccine for kids under 12 here – with our health minister saying it was unlikely to be green lit – which is a fancy way of saying approved – before January. So, it’s sleeves down for most of you still, for the time being.



Each day we give the world globe a spin, and find a news story from wherever it stops. And today we’ve landed in France .. oh la la .. where scientists who study sound are developing a system where passengers in cars can have personal sound zones…  without headphones. 

They’ve obviously been on long summer car trips with families like mine—one kid wants to listen to BTS, but the other one wants to listen to hip hop. One parent wants to listen to the cricket, the other the Hamilton soundtrack … hey. I like a musical. 

Instead of requiring everyone to wear their own headphones, the car of the future will have small speakers at precise places all over the car to create a personal sound zone for each passenger, and block noise coming from the others. The system is still being perfected by the acousticians—scientists who study sound—and there’s a longer explanation of how it works in your episode notes. I wonder if they can get that sorted before the Corbett family road trip at Xmas …    




Formula One is about to get its first ever Chinese driver after news yesterday that Team Alpha Romeo had signed up-and-coming racing car hotshot, Guanyu Zhou.

Zhou will be the second driver in the Alpha Romeo team, alongside Valterri Bottas, the experienced F1 hand from Finland.

RIght now, Zhou is in second place in the F2 competition driving for the Renault-backed Alpine team. Formula 2 is widely considered the training ground for F1 drivers. 

The 22-year old speed freak said he was honoured to be the first driver in Formula One of Chinese descent. Gentlemen – start your engines … 



And there’s a couple of things to cover off today from the “breaking the internet’ corner of Pop Culture Corner … firstly: the new Spiderman movie trailer dropped on YouTube yesterday and within the first nine minutes, had clocked up a staggering 2 million views. Hotly anticipated, much? At the time of recording this podcast, it was 20 million views and counting … and yes, there’s a link to it in today’s episode notes. 

Also causing a stir on the web yesterday was news that former One Direction pop idol, Harry Styles, had released his own beauty range. Nail polish and lip gloss are among the beauty range’s new products which Harry said yesterday he wanted to create a line of beauty products that encouraged people to be themselves … and what’s not to love about that?



Are you a teacher? Would you like a daily serving of classroom activities – tied to this podcast, scaffolded to different ability levels and guaranteed to make your life easier? Then check out our new offering Squiz Kids for Schools … sign up for a free trial at – and see what all your colleagues, all over the country, are rushing to get into their classrooms. Tell them I sent you … 



This is the part of the podcast where you get to test how well you’ve been listening …

  1. Which superhero’s movie trailer almost broke the internet?
  2. In which country have scientists been working on sound spaces inside passenger cars? 
  3. What Formula One team is Chinese driver Guanyu Zhou about to join?




It’s November 18 … today is Mickey Mouse’s birthday .. and it’s also World Philosophy Day … deep man.

It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today … 

Narendra from Albany Hills, Daniel from Annandale, Osburn from Springfield, Oliver from Forest Lake, Grace from Floreat, Charlee from Healesville, Laima from Edithvale, Annabel and Elizabeth from Robina and Blair from Salter Point.

Belated birthday shout outs go to…Cleo from Hammond Park and Lily from NSW. 

Classroom shout outs today go to… class 5/6MR with Mrs Raponi and Mrs McKay at Emmaus Catholic School in Woodcroft, 5/6W and Miss Williams at Gillieston Public School and Year 3 and Mrs D at the Scots School in Albury.  A shout out also to Ms Alexander’s Year 2 Waratah class at Erskineville Public School and congratulations on a successful transition back to the classroom. Shout outs to class 3/4D, 5/6K and 5/6W all from Stockton Public School and lastly to all the great teachers at Bolwarra Public School. 


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Spiderman
  2. France
  3. Alfa Romeo